Sausage stars in fall recipes

Cooking with Cathie

editorial@sierrastarNovember 5, 2013 

Well, I guess our hot weather is pretty much over by now. We are already firing up the wood-burning stove and everywhere you look, there is a holiday theme to remind us that fall is definitely here and winter is right around the corner.

In cold weather, I start to get hungry for hearty and savory main dishes. This is where various kinds of sausages make their appearance on my dinner table.

I would like to share some of my favorite recipes with you, in hopes that you will see at least one that you would like to try out. I am sure you have your own tried-and-true favorites, but it never hurts to keep an eye open for more. (My problem is I not only open my eyes, I also open my mouth one fork full at a time, a little too often, and so I continue my Weight Watchers program to help balance that out!)

Let's explore some good meal ideas that feature sausage.

Rice and smoked sausage

You could use Andouille or kielbasa for this recipe.

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 5 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 pound of smoked, cooked sausage, sliced
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and 4 cups chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat and simmer until all the stock is absorbed into the rice, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat oil in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage. Once browned, add the garlic, onion, celery and green bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add remaining 1 cup chicken stock and cayenne. Cook until the stock has reduced a little. Add the cooked rice and parsley and stir thoroughly. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Sausage and tomato pizza

I prefer to use oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, but it's your choice.

  • 2 cans (10-oz. each) refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups (about) homemade sausage mixture, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 can (14.5-oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Sausage mixture:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  1. For sausage mix: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain, if necessary.
  2. Preheat oven to 450. Unroll dough portions onto a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray, slightly overlapping the edges. Pinch edges together to seal. Pat the dough into a 15-by-12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and top with sausage, basil, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Bake at 450 for 2 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 425 (do not remove pizza from oven), and bake an additional 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 squares and serve.

Quinoa and cannellini bean soup with Andouille sausage

If this helps: Quinoa is pronounced as "KEEN-wah" and Andouille is similar to "Ann Dewey."

  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced 1/4-inch on the bias
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into coins 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 6 1/2 ounces (1/2 package) Aidell's Cajun Andouille sausage, cut into thin slices
  • 1 14 ounce can cannellini beans or other type of canned bean, drained
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup flatleaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot on medium heat; add onion and garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent. Add carrots and celery and continue cooking for 1 minute. Add Andouille sausage, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to stock pot, then add chicken stock.
  2. Bring stock to a simmer and add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, parsley and quinoa. Simmer soup for 10 more minutes or until quinoa grains are fully cooked and begin to burst. Ladle into bowls and serve with rustic bread.

Sausage and cheese mini muffins

Great for a football watching snack.

  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage (hot or mild)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose baking mix (such as Bisquick)
  • 1 can (10.75-oz.) condensed Fiesta Nacho Cheese Soup
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (regular milk or water will also work)
  1. Cook sausage and onion powder in a large skillet over medium to med-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and no longer pink. Drain and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 375. Combine sausage, baking mix and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Stir together the soup and buttermilk; add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon until lightly greased mini muffin tins, filling to tops of cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned.

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